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Skye Gullatt leaps into the air to send the ball towards Fresno Oct. 15, 2015 at Johnson Center. The Lobos swept Fresno State with a 3-0 win and play UNLV Saturday night at 7 p.m..
Skye Gullatt leaps into the air to send the ball towards Fresno Oct. 15, 2015 at Johnson Center. The Lobos swept Fresno State with a 3-0 win and play UNLV Saturday night at 7 p.m..

Volleyball: Lobos return to Johnson a success

All season, Nelson has been trying to find a way to limit the errors and find a rotation that worked to his advantage. He may have just found some answers.

With a new blocking scheme, a unique look at the libero spot, and limited errors, the Lobos took down Fresno State 3-0 Thursday night at Johnson Center.

“We have a good team and good kids,” head coach Jeff Nelson said. “I feel like if we can just get them in that mode of just going to war mode, that things are going to work out eventually.”

Although the battle at libero is far from over, Nelson said he liked the passing production he had with Ashley Kelsey at the position. However, Kelsey’s red jersey came with a little twist.

She was not stationary on a single spot on the floor, as Nelson has done in the past. He would throw her around the court in different spots to keep Fresno honest, sometimes playing middle back and sometimes in the traditional spot.

The head coach said moving Kelsey around played a key component in how well the Lobos were able to pass the ball with minimal errors.

“When we were in system we didn’t have any errors tonight,” Nelson said. “The errors we had were on broken plays and things like that. Hopefully that’s a good sign moving forward.”

Limiting errors has been a major component to the Lobos’ recent struggles and after not committing a single attack error in the first set is something Nelson said he was quite fond of.

New Mexico’s blocking scheme went through a bit of a change on Friday in addition to the unorthodox libero placement.

Fresno has a lot of different hitters in a lot of different positions and they move the ball around,” outside hitter Cassie House said. “They each offered different shots and different kind of swings on different sides so we just switched up the blocking a little bit.”

One of those hitters for Fresno State who Nelson said they had to watch out for was Carly Scarbrough. She had been averaging 2.97 kills per set in addition to a sound .288 hitting percentage.

House’s return to the left side of things along with the new blocking scheme kept the Bulldogs guessing and held Scarbrough to a .115 hitting night with 10 kills.

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Scarbrough wasn’t the only voice of concern for UNM to tame Fresno State’s offense. Zana Bowens was able to collect the game-high 14 kills, but committed six hitting errors.

The new scheme featured a solid blocking night for UNM as the squad batted down eight balls at the net, while the Bulldogs only took care of one off the block.

In House’s return to outside hitter, she finished her night with 13 kills, 1.5 blocks and, and a dig. She also hit .250, but four of her five errors came in the third and final set.

New Mexico (10-9, 3-3 MW) finished the night hitting .302 with only 10 attack errors.

Part of the Lobos’ offensive prowess came out of the middle attack. Both Simone Henderson and Skye Gullatt recorded eight kills apiece. Gullatt swung .500 while Henderson was not far behind with a .438 percentage.

The Lobos will continue the team’s home affairs on Saturday against UNLV for its annual Dig Pink Game to raise breast cancer awareness.

Dig Pink

Nelson said he always looks forward to hosting the Dig Pink game, a breast cancer awareness event at Johnson because the squad always generates a solid crowd for a good cause.

“We’re raffling off an ipad again, like we do every year. It’s just a good day,” he said. “All the proceeds go to the cancer center.”

House said she also looks forward to the annual contest because it raises awareness for everyone personally affected by breast cancer.

“We always love big crowds especially for Dig Pink games,” House said. “A lot of us feel passionate about it, especially for those of us who have had family members who have been affected by breast cancer.”

Liam Cary-Eaves is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at or on twitter @Liam_CE.


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